New mobile phone application can measure impaired breathing

Signal researchers in Oulu have developed a mobile phone application that can measure impaired breathing. The results can lead you to determine whether you have a respiratory disease. In the future, this invention can also help people suffering from asthma or allergies with remote care and self-care. The mobile measurement tool is an easy, fast and cost-effective alternative to expensive hospital examinations.

The mobile respiration measurement tool uses the existing sensors and measurement technology in your smartphone. The actual innovation is the mobile application developed to collect and analyze respiratory signals. In a measurement event, chest movements reveal how heavy your breathing is and whether the problem is in the upper or lower respiratory tract. This information is important for targeting treatment.

According to Tapio Seppänen, Professor of Medical Technology at the University of Oulu, the respiratory signal analysis is based on signal measurement using artificial intelligence. In other words, the program has been trained using mathematical models to find abnormal signal forms that indicate impaired breathing.

Professor Tapio Seppänen, Head of the Physiological Signal Analysis Group, has studied respiratory wave signals with his research team since the 1990s. The development of the Respiratory effort test has also involved Olli-Pekka Alho, Professor of Medicine at the University of Oulu, and researchers Tiina Seppänen and Niina Palmu from the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Oulu.

Medication guided by data

The Respiratory effort test is a convenient method for assessing the effectiveness of treatment and for home monitoring. Measurements can be made several times a day in various situations, indoors and outdoors. Continuous data improves the reliability of measurements and indicates the response to treatments such as asthma medication.

The Respiratory effort test has been found reliable during patient testing at the Seinäjoki Hospital. Clinical testing is still ongoing. For further development, the focus is on providing guidance with the test; the device must indicate whether the measurement was carried out correctly.

Researchers hope to have the test available on the commercial market in a few years. A global patent application has been submitted for the Respiratory effort test.

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